Like Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel is perplexed, but only for a
little while. The prophet is terrified by thoughts of what
will happen to the king, and his compassionate alarm is
apparent to the king. Daniel would have applied the dream to
the king’s enemies if possible!
Did Daniel love Nebuchadnezzar? Obviously he did, as
seen from his own reaction to the interpretation. Yet, as
with the prophet Nathan, he had to tell the king, “You are
the man!” (2 Samuel 12:7). That is tough love!
Because Daniel’s interpretation of this dream and
visions is so self-explanatory, only a brief summary
1. Nebuchadnezzar, you are the tree.
2. The watcher, a holy one sent down from heaven, is an
angel announcing the decree of the Most High.
3. It is decreed that you will become mentally deranged
and men will drive you from your kingdom. You will imagine
yourself one of the beasts of the field, eating and
sleeping with them for seven years, until you learn that
the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, giving it to
whomsoever He wills.
4. The stump and its roots, bound with iron and bronze,
remain in the ground. This indicates that Nebuchadnezzar’s
kingdom shall be secured for him until the lesson is
learned. The fact that the
stump is not uprooted
indicates the preserving of his own life, as well as his
5. The seven times (years) of malady will end with
Nebuchadnezzar knowing that the Most High God rules in the
kingdom of men.
Nebuchadnezzar does not record whether Daniel
interpreted the meaning of “let the animals flee from
under it and the birds from its branches.” The probable
interpretation is that those around the king would abandon
him as soon as his insanity appeared. They would give up
on him, never anticipating his return to the throne. How
many people view Christ this way? Amazingly, Jesus’ own
family thought He was out of His mind (Mark 3:21), while
others thought He was raving mad (John 10:19).
C. S. Lewis has correctly pointed out that “either
Jesus is a lunatic, a liar or He is Lord.” There are no